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Maryam hints at Opposition parties resigning from parliament

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz addresses a social media workers convention in Lahore, on December 6, 2020. — Screengrab from Hum News/YouTube

Pakistan Democratic Movement is set to make big decisions on December 8, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said on Sunday, hinting at resignations from the parliament.

Addressing a social media workers convention in Lahore, she urged party workers to not fall under any "pressure". She said after December 8, it will be a "do or die situation".

Speaking to provincial and national assembly members, she said: "If we call for resignations from the assemblies, you must be willing to stand by us. Do not fall under any pressure."

She further said that whoever "falls under pressure and goes against the party" will have to deal with the people, who will surround their homes.

Maryam said said the party workers must embrace any cases registered against them by the government. She said the people must know "how fearful the government is" of the Opposition and that "the most that the government can do" is register cases.

"You must take these charge sheets, string them together and wear them proudly like a garland," she told party workers, as she lamented that as many as "3,000 first information reports (FIRs)" are filed after every rally held by the Opposition.

Maryam's remarks, hinting at resignations from assemblies or possibly a long march, came ahead of a meeting between alliance members on December 8.

"The people of Pakistan have won this war. Victory only remains to be declared in the rally on the 13th," she said.

A rally has been planned by the Pakistan Democratic Movement at Lahore's Minar-e-Pakistan monument on December 13.

Although Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the 11-party Opposition alliance will not be prevented from holding the rally, he vowed that cases will be registered against all organisers and facilitators of the rally as large gatherings are a violation of coronavirus safety protocols.

'Imran Khan must be called by his new name'

Taking aim at the government, she said that with a single roti (piece of bread) costing Rs30, a family of 8-10 people have no hope of making ends meet.

She said PM Imran Khan used to claim that the "green passport will be respected across the world" but now flights from Pakistan have been banned.

"Is there anyone who can ask him what became of the claims he made?" she inquired.

Speaking of the delay in LNG procurement, which ultimately led to high gas prices, she said "the prime minister's friends who run his kitchen were benefited".

"People hardly have any supply of gas in their homes, but they get unbelievably high bills," she followed by saying, adding that owing to the government's "mismanagement", a loss of Rs122bn had been incurred.

She dared the "fake and cowardly" prime minister to come and mingle with the people for two minutes.

The PML-N vice president said that Pakistan's GDP has turned negative, "hundreds of thousands" have become unemployed, medicines are prohibitively expensive, the "wheel of progress has begun to spin in the opposite direction", European countries have banned Pakistani flights, people have been robbed of wheat, sugar, flour, but no one is bothered, and there is no legal action, "all because he is viewed as taabedaar (servile)".

"We must now call Imran Khan by his new name — Taabedaar Khan," she said.

Tribute to social media teams

Maryam spoke at length about how the party's popularity and reach has been propelled by the social media teams and thanked them for their dedication.

"Thanks to our social media team, Nawaz Sharif's voice has reached across the country today," Maryam said, as she paid tribute to teams from across the provinces, taking name after name in recognition of their "hard work".

She thanked social media workers for "continuing to carry forward Nawaz Sharif's narrative".

Talk of resignations 'a joke'

Earlier in the day, PTI's Senator Faisal Javed Khan had termed talk of resignations "a joke".

He said that he does not believe there will be any resignations, but even if there are the government welcomes them. "By-elections will be held for whichever seats they resign from and PTI will win a heavy majority," he added.

"You can try as hard as you like to get an NRO. There will be no deal," Javed told the Opposition.


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